|Buy the Two and the Proud HERE|
By Heather Long
About fourteen months ago, I had a conversation with a good friend—you may know her as Rebecca Royce—she’s a terrific author. For years now, we’ve exchanged books here and there for critique, shared our aspirations, and encouragement. We even almost got to meet at RWA in New York nearly two years ago but kept missing each other. She sent me a note and said, you have to write a 1Night Stand—you would be great at it.
My initial reaction was to laugh. I didn’t know anything about the line except for Rebecca’s stories and it was a bit of tumultuous period in my life, filled with personal challenges and too many changes. I laughed, but I didn’t forget about the idea. I read a few more books in the series from authors like Valerie Mann and Kate Richards. The idea stuck in my head and wouldn’t go away—stories are like that for me.
Over Thanksgiving weekend, I wrote Once Her Man, Always Her Man and as some might say—it was the start of a beautiful relationship. I created Mike’s Place, and this incredible unit of men, brothers-in-arms, who were dedicated to helping veterans like themselves.
As hard as it is for me to believe, tomorrow marks the release of Always a Marine #8, The Two and the Proud, technically, my ninth Marine (since #10 came out a couple of weeks ago as a part of the Challenge series). TTATP features Rowdy and Kim, Marines at different points in their careers.
Rowdy is still on active duty but has been offered an early out on his contract. He wouldn’t mind staying active, but knows he has options on the outside—options some of the men in his unit don’t share. Kim’s been retired from active duty for a while and she works for NCIS investigating cold cases. But they are both looking for something more…that elusive connection.
In so many ways, this couple is very different from my others. They don’t need healing—they need direction and focus. And I admit, probably a Gibbs slap here or there wouldn’t hurt.
The best part of writing the Always a Marine series is getting to know these fabulous men and women from all walks of life. I have so many more to share with you, but I invite you to kick back this weekend and discover The Two, The Proud—my Marines.
Have any questions about the series? Feel free to ask and I shall do my best to answer!
The eighth installment in the Always a Marine anthology in 1Night Stand (1NS) line for Decadent Publishing. 1Night Stand is the business name of an exclusive online dating service run by Madame Evangeline who provides her clients with a possibility of happily ever after or happily for now.
The Two and The Proud
Always a Marine #8
Always a Marine #8
Roger Michael Easton IV, better known as Rowdy, flouted the family’s Naval tradition to enlist the Marines—not as an officer, but a ground-pounding grunt. He never expected to see as much combat or valor as he did in the field, but every engagement furthered his commitment to his brothers in arms. Now, with an offer to end his contract early on the table, Rowdy has to take a long look at the life he left behind, the life he’s built, and the future he longs to have.
Rowdy wants a woman who gets him.
Inactive Marine, Kim Wakefield, continues to serve her country as a Naval Criminal Investigator. She’s hard on the grunts and sailors because she is one of them—and they didn’t sign up for easy. Tired of the seedier side of military life—picking up drunk Marines, AWOL sailors, busting drug running operations, or worse, sending drug addicted servicemen to court marshal and treatment. She longs to have her faith in her fellow Marines restored.
Kim wants a man who knows what she needs.
Thrown together by chance on a 1Night Stand, these two jarheads have a combustible chemistry—but do they have what it takes?
Not sure how those results could be a bad thing he tapped the side of the shot glass. “Put the piece in the safe. They have the kind you can program here. I’ll keep my eye on the tequila.” He wouldn’t have tried to memorize her combination anyway, but he didn’t miss the minute relaxation around her eyes when he told her he’d watch the drinks.
True to his word, he kept his attention on the alcohol while she stowed the gun. When she leaned against the bar next to him, he pushed a shot glass over to her. “Let me preface this by saying I absolutely want to have sex…but I don’t want to be limited by the one night stand.”
She hesitated in mid-reach for the glass and stared at it, not him. “Clarify?”
“I like you. You’re smart—which is both good and bad.”
“How can it be good and bad?” Her chin came up and she swung a hard gaze on him. Temper flared just beneath the surface, bright as the lightning outside, it enhanced the outrage in her eyes.
Gotcha. Just one little nudge to crack the cool façade and the passionate woman beneath glared at him. Yeah, that’s more like it. A second knock on the door interrupted and he let her think about it while he took the tray from room service and sent them away. He set the tray on the luggage stand and ignored it for now.
He sprinkled salt onto the side of his hand. “It’s good, because it’s sexy.” He bit into a lime and tossed back the tequila. He finished off the ritual with a quick lick of the salt. “It’s bad because you’re playing a game with me.” He poured himself another shot, the first warming his gut and loosening more of the tension. He barely added the salt to his wrist when she slammed back her own drink, caught his hand and stroked her tongue over his pulse point before gliding up the side of his hand to take the salt.
All the blood in his head rushed south and he let out a low whistle. “Damn.”
“Courage isn’t doing something because you know you can do it.” She moistened her lips and he couldn’t look away. “It’s doing what you’re not sure you can be successful at.”
Keep up with Heather and the Always a Marine series: